Courtney Mayer, M.F.A.

Associate Professor, Department of Art & Design

Courtney Mayer is a practicing designer and educator bringing 25 years of experience to PLNU Art and Design. She has collaborated with businesses, institutions, and organizations to produce strategic design and branding systems across media. Her work focuses on distinguishing, positioning, and raising profiles that build brand loyalty to positively influence perceptions and emotions, leading to desired outcomes. Mayer is particularly interested in multidisciplinary collaborations where she guides students in real-world “Design for Good” projects using Human-Centered Design research methods and collaborative teams. She is currently designing a book that combines her interests in faith, social justice, and sustainability. Before coming to PLNU, Mayer was an art director and designer at the University of San Diego, where she produced recruitment communications for Public Affairs, Admissions, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the professional schools. Prior to that, she founded Seabright Studio, a strategic design and branding firm. Her work has served corporate clients, nonprofit arts organizations, and higher education. She has taught or is currently teaching visual identity and branding systems, information design, typography, portfolio, and internship.


  • M.F.A., Graphic Design, Washington State University
  • B.F.A., Graphic Design and Secondary Teaching Certificate, Washington State University

Courses Taught

  • Typography – ART 303
  • Visual Identity and Branding Systems – ART 333
  • Portfolio Preparation – ART 468
  • Portfolio – ART 469
  • Internship – ART 471

Experience in Field

  • PLNU Research, redesigning/reimagining Pope Francis’ book, Laudato  Si’: On Care of Our Common Home, 2016 – ongoing
  • PLNU College of Arts and Humanities Arts + Culture Events Calendar Design, 2016
  • PLNU College of Arts and Humanities Scholarship Report Design, 2015
  • Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centered Design, seven-week course completed with two PLNU undergraduates, 2015

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Point Loma High School Music Program, designed promotional communications for Rhapsody on the Point (annual gala and fundraiser), trailer graphics, t-shirts, and other collateral; 2013 – 2016
  • Mingei Museum Human-Centered Design Project with Brooke Hugus, ’16 and Alexander Bitter Psychology, ’17; 2015
  • University of San Diego, Tecolote Memorial Garden Pamphlet Design; 2015
  • Sacred Heart Parish, OB; volunteer; current

Awards and Honors

  • PLNU College of Arts and Humanities Scholarship Report, Award of Excellence, UCDA Design Competition; 2016
  • Lilly Foundation, $2,000 Award for Vocation in undergraduate education; 2015
  • RASP Grant, $2,000 Award, Redesigning Pope Francis’ book, Laudato  Si’: On Care of Our Common Home; 2015
  • Wesleyan Grant, $3,000 Award, Redesigning Pope Francis’ book, Laudato  Si’: On Care of Our Common Home; 2015
  • "2nd Place Award, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries National Water Campaign Competition
  • PLNU Awarded, $8,500 for implementation of campaign, $7,500 student scholarship and raised over $10,800 to build a water well in the Democratic Republic of Congo; 2014"
  • 2nd Place Award, Pixels of Fury Competition; 2014

Dissertations, Presentations, and Publications

  • And the Vatican Said, Yes!, Redesigning Pope Francis’ book, Laudato Si’: On Care of Our Common Home – Faculty Scholarship Day Session; Fall 2016
  • Grant Travels, Rome, the Vatican Library and University of Amsterdam’s, Bijzondere Collecties and Book Design – Advising Chapel; Fall 2016